How the Military Buried COAS, Ten Others in Abuja on Saturday [PHOTOS]

…Read the Full Speech of Chief of Defence Staff

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By Shola Akingboye, 23rd May, 2021

The Armed Forces of Nigeria yesterday, Saturday, 22nd May, 2021 intered the late Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru and ten other personnel who lost their lives in an air crash which occurred on Friday 21 May 2021, at the Kaduna International Airport resulting from inclement weather on 21 May 2021.

According to a press release by the Acting Director, Defence Information, Brigadier General, Onyema Nwachukwu; those buried alongside the COAS at the National Military Cemetery, Abuja with full military honours were: Brigadier General OL Olayinka, Brig Gen AU Kuliya, Brig Gen MI Abdulkadri, Major LA Hayat and Major Hamza.

Others were Flight Lieutenants TO Asaniyi and AA Olufade. The remains of late Sergeant Umar, Sgt Adesina and Aircraft-man Oyedepo were also committed to mother earth.

Speaking at the funeral according to the press statement, President Muhammadu Buhari showered encomium on the Late COAS and other officers and men for their dedication and commitment to national security. He said Lt Gen Attahiru was a source of inspiration to both officers and soldiers of the Nigeria Army (NA).

The President who was represented by the Minister of Defence, Maj Gen Bashir Magashi (rtd), explained further that today is indeed a trying moment for the NA and the AFN. President Buhari averred that the sacrifices of the personnel to their fatherland would always be remembered.

He further noted that the late Gen Attahiru is an icon of professionalism, bravery and a discipline senior officer who led the NA from the front. This virtues, the President said is worthy of emulation by officers and men of the AFN. He then condoled the families of the fallen heroes and assured them of the Federal Government’s support.

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, described the oath of allegiance to service in the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) as love for the nation. The CDS further described the Late Lt Gen Attahiru as gallant, ebullient and energetic senior officer, who is patriotic and loyal to the unity, security, stability and well-being of the nation. He also eulogized the fallen heroes for their patriotism and zeal while noting that their sacrifices would never be in vain.

According to Gen Irabor, “as we mourn, I remember with a deep sense of pride the life and time of an accomplished General, a reliable professional and a dependable colleague”.

The CDS recalled his personal experience with the late Lt Gen at Nigerian Army Training and Doctrine Command, where they both shared thoughts on advancing the AFN and the Nigerian Army in particular.
He further noted that the late COAS had a distinguished career having commanded with distinction at the tactical, operational and strategic levels of military engagement in the NA.

On the current insecurity facing the nation, the Defence Chief noted that the AFN remains undaunted as he said the war against insecurity must be won. He commiserated with the families of the departed compatriots, assuring them of the commitment of the AFN towards their welfare and well-being.

Beside families and friends, other dignitaries that attended the burial ceremony were the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasiru Ahmad el-Rufai, Senate President, Dr Ahmed Lawan, Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence, Mr Istifanus Musa, the Chief of Naval Staff, Chief of Air Staff, Inspector General of Police, heads of security and paramilitary agencies, serving and retired senior military officers. The statement reads.

PHOTOS:

Read the full speech of the CDS at the interment:

CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF REMARKS DURING THE BURIAL OF THE LATE CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF LT GEN IBRAHIM ATTAHIRU AND TEN OTHERS

LOVE FOR COUNTRY

It is deeply saddening that I have to give these remarks on this occasion. Why are we here? Love for Country! How did we get here? Love for Country! What is the purpose of the Oath of Allegiance? Love for Country! Yesterday, 21 May 21 was a sad day for the Armed Forces. It was a sad day for the nation as I received with shock and utter dismay, the gloomy news of the sudden demise of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 others. The loss of our gallant, ebullient, energetic but calm Chief of Army Staff and other heroes of patriotic zeal and love for Country is painful but not in vain.

Today, Recruits of Depot Nigerian Army were to be on Passing-Out-Parade to herald their joining the workforce of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. The COAS was to be the Special Guest of Honour at the event. One of our finest and best pilots was conveying him and the entourage. After landing, the cold hands of death which manifested in the stormy weather ended that journey. The sting of death, you have not stopped the fight against all forms of insecurity.

As we mourn, I remember with a deep sense of pride the life and times of an accomplished General, a reliable professional and a dependable colleague. It is human for me to recall, with a sense of loss, my personal experience with him at the NA Training and Doctrine Command, where I fondly called him my “Second in Command” Together we shared thoughts on moving the Armed Forces, and the Nigerian Army in particular, forward. These were moments I would forever cherish. He had a distinguished career and the unique privilege of commanding with distinction along the tactical, operational and strategic levels of military engagement in the Nigerian Army. These positions afforded him the unique opportunities to express his determination, energy, resourcefulness, professional endowments and strength of character. Quite significantly, he showed his patriotism and loyalty to the unity, security, stability and well-being of the nation. He was truly a fine officer and a gentleman. He has left us at a time when he was needed the most, a time that is now gone forever, irretrievable and painfully sad. I assure you Ibrahim, that your dreams and passion for a better and more professional Nigerian Army and indeed the Armed Forces would not die with you. I salute you and all the other compatriots aboard with you.

Therefore, we mourn with all the families of our dearly departed compatriots, the families of Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, Brig Gen OL Olayinka, Brig Gen AU Kuliya, Brig Gen IM Abdulkadir, Maj LA Hayat, Maj Hamza, Flt Lt TO Asaniyi, Flt Lt AA Olufade, Sgt Umar, Sgt Adesina and ACM Oyedepo. We pray that God would give you the strength and fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss to your families. We say weep not as we encourage you that the sacrifices of these our
comrades-at-arms to our fatherland would not be in vain. The Spirits of our colleagues live on. The Armed Forces of Nigeria will not leave you alone.
The C-in-C will not leave you alone. To our fellow Nigerians, the challenges are but for a moment. The Armed Forces of Nigeria remain undaunted. We are unmovable. The war against insecurity must be won. Keep praying for us. Remember the families of our fallen heroes. Remember, it is Love for Country.

To the able gallant and courageous officers and men of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, as we mourn our colleagues, let us march on in our determination to defend our country against every form of threat. Your spirit is unconquerable! Rise up in strength! Rise up in faith! The death of our colleagues is not in vain.

God bless.

CHIEF OF DEFENCE STAFF REMARKS DURING THE BURIAL OF THE LATE CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF LT GEN IBRAHIM ATTAHIRU AND TEN OTHERS

LOVE FOR COUNTRY

It is deeply saddening that I have to give these remarks on this occasion. Why are we here? Love for Country! How did we get here? Love for Country! What is the purpose of the Oath of Allegiance? Love for Country! Yesterday, 21 May 21 was a sad day for the Armed Forces. It was a sad day for the nation as I received with shock and utter dismay, the gloomy news of the sudden demise of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 others. The loss of our gallant, ebullient, energetic but calm Chief of Army Staff and other heroes of patriotic zeal and love for Country is painful but not in vain.

Today, Recruits of Depot Nigerian Army were to be on Passing-Out-Parade to herald their joining the workforce of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. The COAS was to be the Special Guest of Honour at the event. One of our finest and best pilots was conveying him and the entourage. After landing, the cold hands of death which manifested in the stormy weather ended that journey. The sting of death, you have not stopped the fight against all forms of insecurity.

As we mourn, I remember with a deep sense of pride the life and times of an accomplished General, a reliable professional and a dependable colleague. It is human for me to recall, with a sense of loss, my personal experience with him at the NA Training and Doctrine Command, where I fondly called him my “Second in Command” Together we shared thoughts on moving the Armed Forces, and the Nigerian Army in particular, forward. These were moments I would forever cherish. He had a distinguished career and the unique privilege of commanding with distinction along the tactical, operational and strategic levels of military engagement in the Nigerian Army. These positions afforded him the unique opportunities to express his determination, energy, resourcefulness, professional endowments and strength of character. Quite significantly, he showed his patriotism and loyalty to the unity, security, stability and well-being of the nation. He was truly a fine officer and a gentleman. He has left us at a time when he was needed the most, a time that is now gone forever, irretrievable and painfully sad. I assure you Ibrahim, that your dreams and passion for a better and more professional Nigerian Army and indeed the Armed Forces would not die with you. I salute you and all the other compatriots aboard with you.

Therefore, we mourn with all the families of our dearly departed compatriots, the families of Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, Brig Gen OL Olayinka, Brig Gen AU Kuliya, Brig Gen IM Abdulkadir, Maj LA Hayat, Maj Hamza, Flt Lt TO Asaniyi, Flt Lt AA Olufade, Sgt Umar, Sgt Adesina and ACM Oyedepo. We pray that God would give you the strength and fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss to your families. We say weep not as we encourage you that the sacrifices of these our
comrades-at-arms to our fatherland would not be in vain. The Spirits of our colleagues live on. The Armed Forces of Nigeria will not leave you alone.
The C-in-C will not leave you alone. To our fellow Nigerians, the challenges are but for a moment. The Armed Forces of Nigeria remain undaunted. We are unmovable. The war against insecurity must be won. Keep praying for us. Remember the families of our fallen heroes. Remember, it is Love for Country.

To the able gallant and courageous officers and men of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, as we mourn our colleagues, let us march on in our determination to defend our country against every form of threat. Your spirit is unconquerable! Rise up in strength! Rise up in faith! The death of our colleagues is not in vain.

God bless.

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